Independent hard rock band Awaken released its latest studio recording late last month. The record – Monsters & Machines – is a presentation that the genre’s fans will find worth hearing at least once. That is proven through the musical and lyrical content that makes up the body of the 12-song record. The musical arrangements hold their own against works from a variety of the band’s more well-known counterparts, such as Spineshank, Breaking Benjamin and Disturbed. Even with those influences, the record’s musical arrangements boast their own unique identities, giving audiences reason enough to hear the album. The record’s lyrical themes are themselves accessible, making for even more engagement and entertainment. ‘Behemoth’ and ‘The Veil’ are just two of the examples of how that musical and lyrical content comes together to make the record work. They will be addressed momentarily. ‘Graveyards,’ which comes later in the album’s run, is another key example of what makes the album successful. When it and the other noted songs are considered along with the rest of the album’s works, the record in whole shows itself as a work that audiences will agree is worth hearing at least once.
Awaken’s latest record Monsters & Machines – the band’s fourth album – is a presentation that audiences will find worth hearing at least once. Its collective musical and lyrical content supports that statement easily. One of the songs that serves to show the impact of the record’s collective content comes early in its sequence in the form of ‘Behemoth.’ The song’s musical arrangement is a heavy work that incorporates electronics and heavy guitars, drums and bass for a sound that will appeal to fans of bands, such as Spineshank, 10 years, and Chevelle. The fire in the song’s arrangement pairs well with the work’s lyrical theme.
The lyrical theme in question hints at someone who sees how the world is dealing with its inner demons. As the song’s subject is seeing this reality, he/she is also seemingly reaching out himself/herself, asking for help, which is what people need to do any time they are dealing with their own inner struggles. That will make the song even more accessible for audiences. The inference can be made right from the song’s outset as the lead verse and chorus state, “It feels like a monster growing inside/Trying to claw its way out/It seems like somewhere we’ve lost our minds/Fighting through the webs of our doubts/By ourselves we’ll crash, burn, and sever/But you are there to put our ashes back together/Reach in me/I can feel it caving in/Breathe in me/I can feel a fade within/Grab hold of me/It keeps pulling underneath /God, help me/Rise within my own defeat.” The song’s second verse continues that inference as it states, “It feels like temptation magnetized/Keeping hearts from finding ways around/It seems like any time we try to take flight/The gravity keeps forcing to the ground.” The song’s third and final verse certifies the statement even more as it states, “Confused on where my thoughts align
/I know you’re there to cauterize the thriving of the beast inside.” The overall message will resonate loudly with listeners. When it is considered along with the power in the song’s musical arrangement, the lyrical content’s impact increases even more, making the whole song that much more accessible. It is just one of the songs that shows the album’s strength. ‘The Veil,’ which comes later in the album’s run, is another example of how much the record has to offer.
‘The Veil’ presents a musical arrangement that crosses the band’s familiar electronic leanings with a more melodic hard rock sound to make its whole a unique work in its own right. The subtle string arrangement that opens the song makes for a notable juxtaposition to again, the very Spineshank/Breaking Benjamin style approach that follows soon after. The steady time keeping and low-end work with the keyboards and guitars to make the song’s musical arrangement solid throughout its four-minute run time. The energy in the song’s arrangement does well to help heighten the impact of the song’s lyrical theme.
According to a statement released by the band, the lyrical theme featured in ‘The Veil’ is a song about the facades put on by our society, our leaders, and sometimes even ourselves. How people can go about on a daily basis keeping people in the dark of their true intentions. It’s like putting your hand over other people’s eyes while creating a cover story to buy time, knowing that it won’t last forever. The light will eventually turn on and the truth will be revealed.”‘ That statement is illustrated well in the song’s lead verse, which states, “There is a shield that keeps us from seeing what’s around us/Like a veil that covers over our eyes/So we start to lose our way/We’ve pursued conflictions and got caught in life’s deceptions/Casting shadows on our face that guides our vision astray/I know there’s more to life than this/Now we can open the door/To find out what our eyes have missed/While we were blinded before.” The statement continues in the song’s second verse as the song’s subject notes, “We keep flowing in this pattern of blocking out the sun/In contradiction to the path we want walk on/How is it we manage to hide what’s truly felt?/There’s so much more to what we are inside these dying shells.” The final accent is put on the statement in the song’s third and final verse, which states, “Why is it so hard for us to share what we feel?/Why is it so hard for us to find something real?/Nothing can ever take your sight from what you know as truth/A vision’s value can be too precious to turn away the view.” Noting the simple way in which the message was delivered, even in its metaphorical language, the theme is still relatively easily understood. To that end the lyrical theme shows even more why the album’s lyrical theme is important to its presentation. When it is paired with the song’s radio ready musical arrangement, the two elements collectively show even more why the album deserves its own share of attention. It is just one more of the album’s most notable entries. ‘Graveyards,’ which comes even later in the album’s run, is another way in which the album’s musical and lyrical content stand out.
‘Graveyards’ is just as radio ready as the other songs addressed here. That is exhibited inn part through its heavy, melodic hard rock stylistic approach and sound. Once again, the comparison is easily made to Breaking Benjamin through the combination of the vocals, bass, guitar, and drums. That is a tribute to the album’s production. That infectious, heavy arrangement works with the song’s lyrical theme to make for even more interest.
The lyrical theme featured in ‘Graveyards’ comes across as a statement about humans’ obsession with the past and our struggle to move past our own pasts. That is inferred especially through the song’s chorus, which states, “Is nothing what it seems?/We keep repeating history/In reverence we dance in vain on the graves of our mistakes/In severance we separate from the pasts we can’t remain.” The chorus adds in its refrain, “In remembrance we keep building walls from all our shattered dreams/In deliverance we build this bridge for all the lives to redeem.” So while the song warns listeners about our tendency to hold on to the past, it reminds us that we can learn from our pasts and move past them. The song’s verses add even more to the theme here, what with its notes of having “broken from the chains/But we can’t seem to open up this cage” and how “We change the picture in this frame/But get lost in the cycles of the same.” It is a strong starting point on a topic that is accessible. When it is considered along with the song’s equally impressive musical arrangement, that whole makes even clearer why audiences will find the album appealing. When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s works, the whole of that content makes the album overall a presentation that does deserve to be heard at least once.
Awaken’s latest album, Monsters & Machines is a presentation from the established hard rock act that is deserving of as much attention as works from the band’s more well-known counterparts. That is proven through its musical and lyrical content alike. The songs examined here serve to support the noted statements. When they and the rest of the album’s works are considered together, they make the recording its own successful offering that is worth hearing at least once. The album is available now. More information on the album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at https://www.facebook.com/awakenofficial.
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